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Man in the Picture

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It was a couple days before Christmas, and realizing that I haven’t gotten my grandmother a gift, I asked my mom if we could go somewhere like an antique store because she like that kind of stuff. It was about a thirty minute drive to the place.

It looked like it was in horrible shape on the outside. But on this inside it was beautiful. There was a marble floor, newly furnished shelves, glass display windows, and it was quite large.

I strolled, sighing, realizing how long it would take me to find something in all of this. Before I knew it, anxiousness turned into relief when I saw an old painting. The framing was beautiful, and the picture was even more stunning.

It was a cabin surrounded by huge trees and there seemed to be a man looking out the window. I knew she’d like it. Hell, she’d like anything I got her.

I grabbed it and what I thought was the owner was standing right behind me as I turned around. Startled, I jumped back and saw an innocent old woman. She told me to follow her and she took me to the counter where I paid for it. I thanked her, then sighed once again. I had to start yet another journey to find my mother.

After about fifteen minutes, I found her, and we left shortly after. Luckily, my grandmother wasn’t home when we got to the house, so wrapping and putting it under the tree wasn’t a big deal.

Come Christmas day, she opened it. Simultaneously, we smiled. She thanked me, and she hung it above her bed later that day. Something seemed…off. The man went from standing at the window to walking out the door. I just brushed it off as nothing. A week passed and I looked at the painting again. He was now walking down the stairs. I was getting a little creeped out, but reassuring myself my saying that it was probably a cool feature about the painting.

Well, another week passed and I took another peek at it. The man seemed to be moving closer, as if there was a camera, and he was moving closer to the person taking the picture.

I told my grandmother about it and she agreed with me. Now seeing that the man was moving, reassuring ourselves, we almost forgot about the picture and the man altogether. Probably because she took it off the hinge and placed it behind her bed. Well, weeks turned to months.

Cabin 3959-Stage-8

And for old time's sake, we pulled the picture out from behind her bed. We were mortified. We could see the man’s face, clear as day. He had dark bags under his eyes. It looked like he was trying to smile, but was missing many teeth. But what stood out most of all is that his left arm didn’t fit the rest of his body. It seemed too feminine and blood seemed to stream down it. He had long, silky hair and seemed injured in a sick, twisted way.

Well, another week passed, and we were planning for my grandmothers funeral. The people who did the autopsy said that she died from a heart attack. I know better though, because...the man. He is nowhere to be seen in the picture.

I know that he is loose now. I know that I am already gone.

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